If you know that your teeth aren't in the best shape or have been told that you need to improve your oral hygiene habits, you might be looking for other ways to improve your oral health, too. One such way that some people try to engage in is switching out their typical sugary sodas for sugar-free ones. But will this really make a big impact on your oral health? Read on to find out.
The Main Problem With Soda
As you would expect, the biggest problem with standard soda for your teeth is the sugar. Sugar feeds the bacteria that produce plaque and can contribute to gum disease. When there's more food, the bacteria reproduce at a frantic rate and before you know it you have a mouth absolutely brimming with nasty bacteria that can cause oral health problems.
So yes, in short, cutting out sugar will make a big impact on your oral health. If you decide to make this leap, you'll be in better shape. But not everything is great about sugar-free soda.
The Problem With Sugar-Free Soda
The average sugar-free soda still contains one component that can harm your teeth: citric acid. Citric acid is typically included in soda either as a flavoring or as a preservative. Go ahead, take a look at your favorite soda's ingredient list to be sure.
The problem with citric acid is that it temporarily softens dental enamel. The good news? It's not a permanent change. The bad news? A lot of damage can be done while your enamel is softened. For example, just the carbonation that exists in soda — when combined with citric acid — can potentially cause dental erosion of your tooth enamel.
What to Do Instead
So by now, you might be worried about drinking sugar-free soda, too. If you want to do what's best for your teeth, consider drinking water, flavored water, or non-carbonated, sugar-free drinks that don't contain citric acid, like milk, coffee, and tea. In fact, drinking green tea may help your oral health, so it's an excellent substitute for sugar-free soda.
At the end of the day, simply do the best that you can for your teeth. Avoid sugar when possible, rinse and brush when you do consume it, and make sure to visit your dentist regularly for check-up appointments. If you're still not doing enough, your dentist will let you know and can take care of any damage that's occurred as a result.
For more information, reach out to a dentist in your area.